What a bleak morning, to wake up to the news that Vancouver was in chaos again after our team failed to claim the Stanley Cup. I stayed up until 3:30 am here and listened to the game on Radio 1040, falling asleep disappointed, like thousands of other Canuck fans after the Bruins scored into an empty net. When woke up, I went straight to The Vancouver Sun website and saw the result of that loss. I felt sick. I saw a photo of a young man stuffing a shirt into the gas tank of a police car, ready to light it. It looked like a war zone, like Libya or Syria or Egypt these days, but it was all about a hockey game, not about a fight for something as worthwhile as democracy. How sad is that.
I was over here in the UK the last time this madness gripped the city. In 1994 my brothers and I were here on vacation and while we enjoyed a pub lunch, Jack went outside to a phone box to call home. He came back in and announced they were rioting in the streets of Vancouver after the Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.
While Vancouver has become a sophisticated, “world class” city, there is still the element of mindless physical violence fired by alcohol that goes back a very long way. It reminds us that while we have all the trappings of a civilized city, there are those mutants among us who haven’t yet progressed to a level of intelligence required to live in an advanced society. It’s sad to think that all the camaraderie Vancouver experienced during the Olympics was wiped out in a few hours of mindless destruction by a minority of marauding Neanderthals. How can we fix it?